The man indicted in a double murder last year in Smithville has been deemed competent to stand trial after undergoing an evaluation at the Plateau Mental Health Center in Cookeville.
In a letter to the court, Dr. Sandra DeMott Phillips, a Clinical Psychologist wrote that 44 year old David Howard Dixon, after undergoing an evaluation as to his competency "has sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding and a rational as well as a factual understanding of the proceedings against him".
Meanwhile, Judge Leon Burns, Jr. set a December 2 trial date for Dixon in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, July 22.
Dixon was named in a sealed indictment in November, 2012 charging him with two counts of first degree murder in the deaths of 55 year old Ervin Raymon Beacham and Jose Sagahon Ticante. The case against Dixon was presented to the grand jury by Dan Friel of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
On August 7, 2012, the Smithville Police Department responded to 311 Tommy Harrell Street and discovered Beacham, the owner of the residence, shot to death on the couch in his home. A second victim, Ticante was also found murdered and his body hidden under a tarp and some lumber in the backyard of the residence. TBI investigated the murders with the Smithville Police Department, DeKalb County Sheriff's Office and the 13th Judicial District Attorney General's Office.
After being picked up after the murders on August 7, Dixon was incarcerated at the DeKalb County Jail without bond for violation of probation and for failure to appear. He is currently being housed at the Henderson County Jail.
Dixon recently underwent an evaluation as to his competency to stand trial and to determine his mental condition at the time he was charged in the double murder. In her letter to the court, Dr. Phillips wrote "After completion of the evaluation, it is my opinion that at the time of the commission of the acts constituting the alleged offenses, severe mental disease or defect did not prevent the defendant (Dixon) from appreciating the nature or wrongfulness of the alleged acts."
Dixon has a lengthy criminal history here including charges for possession of a handgun while under the influence, manufacture and delivery of a schedule IV controlled substance, assault, public intoxication, violation of an order of protection, aggravated assault, theft, domestic assault, and simple possession.